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USA Has ‘Villain Spy’ Egg All Over it’s Face

Posted: June 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Hack! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on USA Has ‘Villain Spy’ Egg All Over it’s Face

CHINAThe second largest economy on the planet – and arguably the most powerful – China, has launched a venomous attack on the United States, labelling it an “espionage villain” after former US spy Edward Snowden raised new allegations on the far-reaching US cyber-surveillance program, PRISM.

Snowden’s latest allegations have the US spy-program directed squarely at  Chinese targets.

The US is seeking to extradite the 30-year-old technician from Hong Kong, where he is holed up after leaking details of secret US intelligence programs to international media outlets.

Snowden’s leaks revealed that the National Security Agency – NSA – has access to vast amounts of internet data such as emails, chat rooms and video under a government program known as PRISM. The South China Morning Post says documents and statements by Snowden show PRISM also hacked major Chinese telecom companies to access text messages and targeted China’s top Tsinghua University.

US privacy proponentss have blasted Prism as unconstitutional government surveillance, they’ve called for a review of the program. The US Centre for Constitutional Rights says it believes PRISM to be the broadest surveillance order issued in American history. The Bashing China has received over the past decade on civil liberty, internet censorship and human rights now looks like COMPLETE hypocrisy. The scale of PRISM is daunting, it’s flow-on affect for US allies is likely to haunt us for the foreseeable future, ironically.

In an absolutely ironic twist, Snowden’s revelations come just weeks after US president Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping held meeting on the subject of China/US relations where the US president took the Chinese leader to task on hacking charges :: Read the full article »»»»


UPDATED! PRISM: Data Mining

Posted: June 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: CHINA!, Hack!, ONLINE SECURITY, UPDATED! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on UPDATED! PRISM: Data Mining

PRISM

The Guardian’s revelations that our privacy is no longer our own has caused huge public outcry, the tinfoil-hat brigade is in a furore, normal folk have become concerned at what governments are peering at, and most importantly the nefarious are sat  back gobsmacked. PRISM, if your at all shocked that such government devices  exist, your naive; if your angry, then your possibly delusional.

RANT WARNING! Our freedom, our ability to stroll the streets or fly the airways, is almost entirely reliant on a – very real – war on terrorism. As news flashes across our television sets – Syria – and our soldiers return from the fronts of war – Afghanistan – we perhaps need to pause and consider what price that freedom has cost. If we aren’t thankful that we weren’t one of the 3 thousand troops who gave their lives in the name of democracy in Afghanistan then perhaps we’ve become disconnected.

Exagerated outcries like, “Even if your not doing anything wrong, your being watched.” aren’t helpful

The graphic images of war and death beamed to us by television networks isn’t an example of what we face, it’s what we face. And what privacies have we given up – in order that our streets don’t look like a Boston Bombing – someone reading our emails, a government employee checking over our social media posts or an analyst trawling though our text messages, again, what have you lost? Certainly not your life – unlike the 3000 lives lost on September 11 2001, you can surely be thankful that you weren’t one of the 20,0000 patriots who were wounded in the line of duty, defending our freedom to like on Facebook and plus on Google.

No, it seems that the cost of surveillance on the general population is naught! Unless of course you have something to hide, or wear a tinfoil-hat. While I don’t disagree that The Guardian has done a splendid job revealing PRISM, and presenting the world with another anti-espionage proponent – Edward Snowden – what have they truly given us, a safer community, more freedom? This author thinks not. Truth and lies, are very personal, we tend to take a lack of trust – or being lied to – as an infringement on our own integrity. Being deceived isn’t what this is about, it’s much much bigger than our individual integrity, it’s about our safety as a society :: Read the full article »»»»


UPDATE! Apple, Microsoft and Adobe Front Australian Parliamentary Inquiry

Posted: April 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Technoid Computer News | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on UPDATE! Apple, Microsoft and Adobe Front Australian Parliamentary Inquiry

Australia's IT Price WarAustralia’s parliamentary inquiry into consumer electronics and IT pricing has heard testimony from Apple, Microsoft and Adobe, the testimony however failed to impress. Australia consumers pay up to 90 per cent more for some of the most commonly required IT products, the trap of course is that programs like Adobe’s Photoshop are essential, irreplaceable tools in many businesses. The price discrepancies rely heavily on an enthusiastic abuse of copyright and a heavy handed approach to geo-blocking.

The price gouging by some of the planets largest companies led the parliamentary inquiry to take the unusual step of forcing Apple, Microsoft and Adobe – The Big Three – to front up and explain their obscene pricing policies. The inquiry issued a threatening summons to the world’s technology behemoths, demanding they answer accusations.

Committee chairman Nick Champion says the inquiry has heard from many Australian consumers and organisations frustrated at the prices charged for digitally downloaded software, computer games, music, movies, and e-books. Matt Levey, head of campaigns for independent consumer organisation Choice, says Australian consumers should not have to pay so much more.

Microsoft, which employs 800 people in Australia, says attempts to compare absolute prices across different counties is of limited use because there are a range of regional factors that need to be taken into account. The company says it provides recommended retail prices for its products that take into account various market forces, such as the size of the market, and the consumers willingness to pay :: Read the full article »»»»


Europeans Fine Microsoft $700 Million Over Lack of Browser Choice

Posted: March 8th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Microsoft | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Europeans Fine Microsoft $700 Million Over Lack of Browser Choice

MicrosoftThe technology behemoth that is Microsoft has been fined more than $AU700 million for failing to offer it’s OS users a choice of different internet browsers in Europe.

The company was found to have breached its own 2009 commitment to introduce a pop-up screen offering users a choice of browser, rather than just Internet Explorer. The pop-up was introduced as part of an earlier European Union competition case, but was dropped in a Windows 7 update in early 2011.

Microsoft claims the omission was simply the result of a “technical error”. The tech-behemoth was fined 561 million euros – $AU711 million – taking the total cost of its regulatory troubles in Europe to 2.15 billion euros – $AU2.75 billion – since 2002.

The European Commission, which acts as competition regulator across the 27-member European Union, said it found Microsoft broke its undertaking between May 2011 and July 2012. The Commission said it takes such settlement commitments very seriously :: Read the full article »»»»


OOPS! Microsoft Posts First Ever Loss, Half a Billion Dollars Misplaced?

Posted: July 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Microsoft, Technoid Computer News | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on OOPS! Microsoft Posts First Ever Loss, Half a Billion Dollars Misplaced?

OOPS! Microsoft Posts First Ever Loss, Half a Billion Dollars Misplaced?That behemoth that is Microsoft – under the steerage of Steve Ballmer – has reported its FIRST EVER quarterly loss as a publicly listed company.

The company misplaced almost half a billion dollars – $US492 million – in the fourth quarter due to a massive $US6.2 billion write-down related to its 2007 acquisition of aQuantive, a digital advertising firm aimed at helping Microsoft compete against Google and others.

The news is dire, not deathly though, Microsoft still posted an annual profit of $US16.98 billion and said the results reflected “solid revenue growth and rigorous cost discipline”.

In stark contrast, that other behemoth, Google, has reported an 11 per cent jump in second quarter profit to $US2.79 billion. Google said the result was boosted by a 21 per cent jump in revenues from its internet sites.


UPDATE! New Choice Report Says Australians are Paying 50 Per Cent More For Tech!?

Posted: July 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Standout, Tech-Business News, Technoid Computer News | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on UPDATE! New Choice Report Says Australians are Paying 50 Per Cent More For Tech!?

New Choice Report Says Australians are Paying 50 Per Cent More For TechAustralian consumer watchdog Choice says locals are paying twice as much as they should for computer hardware, software and digital downloads. In it’s latest research – The Digital Price Divide – the consumer group says Australian prices for products such as music, personal computers, console games and computer software are on average 50 per cent higher than those in the United States.

In a submission to the parliamentary inquiry into IT pricing, the group noted that across 44 software products, Australian prices were 34 per cent more expensive than comparative overseas prices. Choice also found that Australians are paying 51% more for iTunes music, 88% more for Wii games and 41% more for computer hardware than US consumers.

One piece of Microsoft software was nearly $9,000 more expensive in Australia than the United States, Choice said via it’s website that it would be cheaper to pay someone’s wage and fly them to the US and back twice, and get them to buy the software while overseas.

“For this amount, it would be cheaper to employ someone for 46 hours at the price of $21.30 per hour and fly them to the US and back at your expense – twice,” Choice said in its submission.

Choice identified international copyright discrimination as one of the causes for the disparity. But group spokesman Matt Levey says the most likely reason is Australia’s relative affluence :: Read the full article »»»»


Apples Low Returns

Posted: February 17th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Apple, Standout, Technoid Computer News | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Apples Low Returns

Apples Low ReturnsApple has once again rewarded it’s shareholders amply,  its share price surged to new highs – above $US500 – last week. There is, though, one part of the iPhone behemoths’s business that isn’t exactly humming along.

Apple’s management of it’s pile of cash, now exceeding $US100 billion, has historically been extremely unimaginative. Investors are bombarded with offers from banks, offering yields of as much as 1 percent – as high as 1.5% for 2 years fixed –  Apple may be settling for less for its cash stash.

Apple’s war chest has grown steadily since 2005, when it had just $9 billion in reserves.

As as the end of 2010, Apple’s $60 billion stockpile gave it more cash than any other non-financial company in the U.S. Amusingly-  mid 2011 – Appleinsider reported that Apples the $76 Billion in cash outweighed the U.S. governments $US73 billion in total operating cash.

Comparisons with fellow hoarders in the tech-world – Google and Microsoft  – indicate that in this area at least, the most valuable publicly traded American company is probably under-performing :: Read the full article »»»»